The Art and Politics of Designing for Social Justice
Time: 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Panel: Dr. Anna Feigenbaum, Dr. Gavin Grindon, and Minute Works
From drones, border walls, and riot control weapons to protest banners and DIY tear gas masks, design practices are used for both social control and social change. In this free talk we explore how design practices are implemented in the creation of objects used for repression and harm.
Situating this ‘cruel design’ in relation to acts of disobedience, we take the audience on a journey through the creative processes and critical readings of power that lie at the heart of designing for disobedience. Revealing the tensions between ‘cruel design’ and ‘disobedient
design,’ we draw on a range of examples. From RiotID infographics to protesting legos, we look at how such objects travel across nations and movements. As repressive and harmful technologies are continually innovated and adapted, people continue to find new modes of resilience. We argue that beyond the creation of individual artefacts, engaging in civic and participatory design can foster infrastructures of resistance, shape social movement cultures, and innovate tactics that spread around the world.